Poll: Pennsylvania Democrats surging with double-digit leads

Poll: Pennsylvania Democrats surging with double-digit leads
© Greg Nash

Democratic incumbents running for reelection in Pennsylvania hold double-digit leads over their Republican opponents, according to a Franklin & Marshall College poll released Thursday.

Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyGOP wants to pit Ocasio-Cortez against Democrats in the Senate Biden speaking to Dems on Capitol Hill as 2020 speculation mounts: report GOP senators: Trump should not declare border emergency during State of the Union MORE Jr. (D-Pa.) holds a comfortable 13-point lead among registered voters in the survey over Rep. Lou BarlettaLouis (Lou) James BarlettaTrump's most memorable insults and nicknames of 2018 GOP trading fancy offices, nice views for life in minority Casey secures third Senate term over Trump-backed Barletta MORE (R-Pa.), 47 to 34 percent. Nineteen percent of voters remain undecided.

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Casey, a two-term senator, has a 41 percent approval rating, according to the poll. Barletta, meanwhile, is hurt by low name-recognition, with 53 percent of voters not knowing enough about him to give an opinion.

Pollsters also found that Gov. Tom Wolf (D-Pa.) holds a 17-point lead over state Sen. Scott Wagner (R),  52 to 35 percent. Twelve percent of voters remain undecided in that race.

Wolf, who is running for his second term, has a 46 percent approval rating in the new survey. He too is aided by his opponent’s low name recognition, with 42 percent of registered voters not knowing enough about Wagner to give an opinion. 

Both Democrats are also buoyed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE’s low approval rating in the state, which stands at about 38 percent in the poll. Trump won Pennsylvania by less than 1 percent in 2016 and has endorsed both Barletta and Wagner. 

Regardless of party, Trump is a potent motivator for voters. About 67 percent of those who intend to vote for a Democrat say they will do so as a vote against the president and Republicans in Congress. About 74 percent of those who intend to vote for a Republican say they do so in support of the president and Republicans in Congress.

This is the second poll in as many weeks to show Casey and Wolf with double-digit leads over their opponents. An NBC News–Marist poll released last Thursday showed similar margins in each race.

Franklin & Marshall College interviewed 511 registered voters in Pennsylvania from Aug. 20 to 26. The poll has a margin of error of 6.1 percentage points.